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Thread: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

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    Senior Member pr0p4g4nd4's Avatar
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    Question Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    Hey there Hexites,

    It's been a long time since I last posted (since switching to the Mac side!). However, I'm trying to get my once high-end PC back up and running, but only to concede to failure.

    I've tried formatting about 4 times recently, twice with XP, twice with Vista Ultimate. However, within a matter of days my install go ape-sh*t crazy and stuff like explorer crashing even after booting and the PC is idle. I also suffer from installers failing to work (i.e. double-click the .exe and nothing ever shows up even though the process is showing in task manager). My PC also has a tendency to randomly reboot itself too. This has happened on all my installs as of late, despite formatting and using legit and known-to-work copies of Windows (both versions install fine on my MacBook running Boot Camp).

    Also, if I tried to format and reinstall now I just get errors regarding files being unreadble on the Windows CDs :S

    I'm thinking this is some form of hardware error, but I really haven't a clue. Does anybody here have a possible diagnosis? I think I might just build a new Core 2 Quad machine anyway, but I'm mucho skinto atm.

    Thanks in advance,

    Pr0p

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    The only situation i've had like that was down to a hard drive which was close to death..and then died lol Try and run check disk on it.

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    Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    The only situation i've had like that was down to a hard drive which was close to death..and then died lol Try and run check disk on it.
    Thanks for the prompt response Mike. That seems like the only feasible explanation to me. I better back everything up pretty damn quick then! That's probably Karma for me neglecting to back up for years :O

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    Question Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    Quote Originally Posted by staffsMike View Post
    The only situation i've had like that was down to a hard drive which was close to death..and then died lol Try and run check disk on it.
    I'd be tempted to agree. I can't think of anything else that would be the problem, particularly since you tried two separate versions of Windows. The fact that it installs at all pretty well narrows it down, I think.

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    Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    I agree with the others, but, have you made sure all the cables in the box are secure, it may be that the hd cable has been jogged loose.

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    Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    I'd be looking at other things like RAM also, also it could be a cause if you are using a "Quick Format" when installing Windows. I've on occassions had problems with Windows after reinstalling it on a drive that already had Windows on it when I've only used a quick format instead of a full write-to-zero format which takes a while. I guess you aren't still on Windows, however if you get it back on and you start bluescreening again you can use the Micrsoft Debugging Tools for Windows to check out the bluescreen to see what cause the machine to reboot.

    When you do get back into windows, I would turn off automatic restarts on BSODS. You can do this by right clicking "My Computer" and clicking "Properties", then go into the "Advanced" tab, and click the "Settings..." button for the Startup and Recovery Options. In there is a tick box for something called "Automatic Restart", untick that.

    You can then download the Debugging Tools for Windows, which will help you identify the BSOD. When you download and install that you can follow the next steps:

    1. Open the program and click File menu, then "Symbols path"
    2. Type in "SRV*c:\symbols*http://msdl.microsoft.com/download/symbols" without the quotes
    3. Then click File -> Open Crash Dump and browse to C:\Windows\Minidump and open the latest crash dump
    4. When you open it, it'll take a while to load in but when it does you'll be connected to the debugger
    5. When you are connected type in "!anaylze -v" without the quotes to get info on why the computer rebooted.

    It might take a while to reach step 5, sometimes it takes around 30 seconds so be patient. What this will do is give you a full page of information regarding the error that you have had. You should if possible do that and paste the contents here so we can take a look at it, namely the filename that caused the problem and the actual BSOD message (such as IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL - it's generally near the top of the report).

    If you literally cannot get Windows back on, I'd suggest getting ahold of a copy of memtest and running it for about 40 loops (will take hours) to make sure it's not your RAM.
    Last edited by ezri; 11-07-2008 at 02:18 PM.

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    Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    Wow, I love this forum! I shall definitely have a quick look at the cables now and then get running the tests/checks that Ezri described. Thanks very much people

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    Talking Re: Windows Install Woes - Please Help Diagnose

    Quote Originally Posted by pr0p4g4nd4 View Post

    Wow, I love this forum!
    It's taken you well over 1400 posts to express that love though
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